Borders in Northern Ireland : Exploring borders related to Northern Ireland in two textbooks written for Social Studies English through the lenses of post-structuralism and border studies
MetadataShow full item record
In a referendum in 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. This event sparked a major debate concerning national identity and national borders, as the British society was divided in half, with almost 52% voting to leave, while the other48% wishedto remain in the EU. As Brexit moved forward, one element in the various withdrawal-agreements stood out as a main issue, namely the Irish border. The border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland was now to be given a new characteristic, also functioning as the border between the EU and the UK. One of the main challenges was to find a solution that would benefit all parties of the Brexit negotiations, without the risk of compromising the content of the Good Friday Agreement. These current events creates the basis for this thesis, which aims to map out and analyse physical and symbolic borders relating to Northern Ireland in two textbooks written for Social Studies English. These border representations will be analysed using border theory and post-structuralism. The analysis showsthat there is several similarities between the two textbooks, especially related to their inclusion ofhistorical events. However, these events are, at times, described differently by the authors of the textbooks, and there is also differences in terms of structure and presentation of Northern Irish history and society. Nevertheless, physical and symbolic borders relating to Northern Ireland may be seen in both textbooks. The symbolic borders are mainly found in oppositions such as Nationalist versus Catholic and Protestant versus Catholic, but may also be represented through other social and political issued in Northern Ireland. Furthermore, althoughthe relationship between these oppositions may have altered throughout the history of Northern Ireland, some of them stillremain. This is especially evident through physicalborders in Northern Ireland,such as peace-lines, muralsand geographical segregation.
Master's thesis English EN501 - University of Agder 2019